Thursday, November 15, 2007

Rising star plays Mozart with CSO

November 15, 2007

By Mary Ellyn Hutton
Cincinnati Post music writer

Whoever said cream rises to the top must have been thinking of Ingrid Fliter.

The Argentine pianist, 34, who makes her debut with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra this week, was the recipient of the 2006 Gilmore Artist Award.

Unlike other piano prizes, the quadrennial Gilmore award does not involve a formal competition; it is bestowed without regard to age or nationality through a confidential nomination and evaluation process. Judges, rather like restaurant critics, are anonymous and may observe a candidate for years before selecting a winner. Highly prestigious, the award carries a stipend of $300,000 and virtually guarantees a berth among the top rank of international pianists.

Fliter (pronounced FLEE-ter), a protégé of fellow Argentine pianist Martha Argerich, will perform Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 23 in A Major, K.488, at 7:30 tonight, 11 a.m. Friday and 8 p.m. Saturday at Music Hall. CSO music director Paavo Järvi, who led Fliter's debut at New York's Mostly Mozart Festival in August, will conduct.

The program juxtaposes Mozart's sunny concerto with Mahler's Symphony No. 7. Dating from 1904-05, Mahler's five-movement seventh is perhaps the least known and appreciated of his nine symphonies. In a way, though, it's the most engrossing because of its wide emotional range. Two of the inner movements are called "Nachtmusik" ("Night Music"). One utilizes guitar and mandolin. The third movement, called Scherzo, is marked "Schattenhaft" ("Shadowy"). The symphony has been called "Song of the Night" (not by Mahler) and viewed as a progression from night to day, with all the charms and terrors that may imply.

For a preview of the giddy finale, visit http://video.aol.com for Mahler guru Leonard Bernstein leading the Vienna Philharmonic (click "Categories," "Music" "Classical" then search for "Leonard Bernstein Mahler Symphony No. 7").

Admission is $12-$79.25, $10 for students. For tonight's concert only, admission includes a pre-concert buffet dinner in the Music Hall Ballroom (6:15-7:15 p.m.). Tickets are half-price for seniors for the evening concerts. Call (513) 381-3300, or order online at www.CincinnatiSymphony.org

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